Acythian – Futuristic Weapons

Well! Its october and Redacted² has long been released and I’m done with my vacation and am pouring some more of my time in my projects again. Also thanks to all of you who grabbed my store media during the discount

I was experimenting a lot with level design methods, trying to improve my work here and there but I must admit that all of them failed spectacularly.
I’m not giving up on them just yet, I’ll wait and see if I get better results from them once the DX11 update hits but it might still be a while until then.

In the mean time I just take it easy and make a bunch of models, test some gameplay ideas and rig stuff. Once the update hits I can then just build this game without much distraction.

So, this of course means that I don’t have that much to show now, so I’d like to drop a few weapons you’ll get to use in the game.
In this games setting there are impulse, plasma and traditional projectile weapons (also hybrids like plasma propulsed projectile weapons but I won’t have any of these in the first game.) Quite a bit of the setting has changed too but you’ll see a lot of the previously shown levels in this or the next game.

The railgun, its BSP’s scifi shotgun that I have modified slightly. The magazine is now a battery and its a heavy energy weapon

Special thanks to Bugsy for animating this bad boy for me.

The more compact counterpart to the rifle! BSP’s scifi pistol without the elongated barrel uses the same ammo as the rifle.

Its rigged to EAI’s GCS Desert Eagle animations.

I hope some of these mods strike your fancy The decision to take the game away from the masterfully done modern weapons and use more futuristic ones doesn’t make it easier but more consistent. I just hope these will hold up well in the final game and that people will find the different ammo types fun to play. I want to integrate a feature where projectile weapons don’t do as much damage to robots/machines as energy based ones. Lee was so kind to add this feature quite some time ago

So lemme know what ya think and have a good one. Here a few more impressions from the game:

The game isn’t a pure shooter. I try to have it more “immersive sim” elements like Ion Storms iconic games but thats rather hard to do. However, it will have 2 or 3 “simpler” maps where it turns into a straight up FPS game so Players can really use the equipment they gathered and experiment. I aim to have the best and smoothest shooting mechanics I can master in this game so I hope this will be enjoyable and interesting to you as players

The compound also feel more realistic if the protagonist has to traverse some office and maintenance areas once in a while to get to another more “setpiecy level”.

Note that this is an early rendition and that I did not have the reshade suit enabled:

If you happen to check out my project for the first time, there are some more accurate impressions of what this game will look like on previous pages.
For this map, I actually modded the “the warehouse” demo map to my needs. I ended up removing almost all of it and adding a lot but the spine structure still stands It was fun but as you can see, still very early…only 2 hallways are ready to be shown.

These cybergothic looking hallways I made out of modded versions of wizard of id’s top down shooter pack are areas I’m rather fond off! They also really show that this is Shavra’s scifi sister game.

A rather empty office area. The painting on the wall is an aquarelle I painted a few years back. Gameplay wise, you’ll find a few necessary items in the room way back

Some more shots of the hallway area. I took the few minutes it takes to make new cylinder tanks specifically for this maps rather than overuse the same ones in each and every level of this game.

I think its good practice to always make a clean and a worn version of any environmental prop you make Its quickly made and can really help you adding that extra notch of naturalism to your levels. If a pipe is clean in a dry and rusty in a wet area for example.

Additional polish added to the hallways area. there will be a linear shootout here where the enemies hold reinforced positions you have to blast through.

The door that leads to that more futuristic area. I like how the emerald green lighting gives it a mildly creepy look.

Thats it for now

**********************

Just a quick update. Nothing major, Currently working 9 to 6 and really not getting enough down time but I managed to get the starting room done for the simplified acythian prologue.

I also started designing a rather action intensive level with huge derelict architecture. (Picture) but its still in its inception.

Here the new starting room and a weapon I have been toying around with. Its from game banana and will likely not be in the final game.

The room has a few animated entities that make it seem a bit more alive. I’ll also add some moving screen decals later on

*************************************

Big news is that I escaped retail hell for now. Lets see what divine punishment life is sending my way next. Maybe on my next job a horse comes in every morning and kicks me in the keester.

I’ve continued working on this map before Game Guru decided to update and subsequently none of my, ooooh I don’t know, 4 years worth of map design (a lot of it can be seen on these pages) are loading anymore. Graphix is trying to help an old wolf out with it but I gotta admit. I’m torn between reverting to X9 and sticking with X11… I just don’t know yet.
Anyway: Here you have what I produced earlier y’all:

I have fixed a certain a-symmetry in this design.

This is an interesting advancment in my lighting! Actual light reflections. Check out how the purple is being reflected off the metal.


I’m fond of the simple design of this machine.

This level also had the power of purple.

And the infirmary. Adjusting all these X-rays and screens to the games look took me longer than I expected but I think they will end up serving me well.
Thank you for reading!

 

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Acythian – First Version of Gardens

Its that time again. Update time! I wish I could tell ya all that I have been winning all day and progressing this project all eve but this is not the case.
In fact, I barely had time to get serious work done on this project and didn’t accomplish too much otherwise either.
Not the best few weeks but hey! I got to catch up on a couple of movies and met some old friends again so there is that!
You could say that what I show you today is “more of the same” and you’d be right. I’ve only gotten around to work on some map design and thats really it. Its enough for an update though. Welcome to the update!Aah! But playing some other titles gave me a few fresh ideas that I’ll incorporate into this.

You see, in the first level you might meet a hermit that can sell you some hardware before you infiltrate the citadel. I wanted to add a system where you could find valuables on the island to finance this and reward exploration. I figured why not have a few more of these shops throughout the game to reward thorough players? So! Now you’ll run into dissident acolytes that are gonna sell you special weapons and upgrades if you managed to collect the (very hidden) credits!

Its a rather standart concept but I think it works well in this game and I can throw in a few witty dialogues to forward the lore.

I’ve gotten around to do some design work on one of the 2 garden levels. These are semi-outdoor levels that will feature a lot of variety in gameplay and maybe even a boss battle. They also really drive home the whole “post cyberpunk” aesthetic I’m going for. So without much chit chat: Here is what I did:

Courtyard areas with plants and benches where sermons would be held! I did, of course, run into several issues regarding scaling models (especially the statues and polygonal displacment. But those are issues for another day.)

Levels tend to be much larger than my former FPSC shooters and labyrinthian in nature.

These interiors are all part of a simple puzzle. It gives me some breathing room to fit in some extra narration.

Snuck in a few more from a previous level. Just because I’m excited because of the woodland vibe the coast has

All thanks to wizard of id for his scifi hallway sets.

Some more indoor scenery. This is also a likely final postprocessing setting.

And that concludes the update for this time!! I hope to hear from you guys and read your thoughts

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Acythian – Initial Post – Conceptual and Early Stages

This post has been replaced in February 2017. Note that content subsequently following is outdated.

Developer

Wolf
with lots of support from Bugsy and the community

Genre

First Person Shooter // Adventure // Cyberpunk, Gothic, SciFi

Version

4.x69x

Plot
Acythian is a cyberpunk/noir themed first person shooter game.

Plot summary:
A retired special forces agent infiltrates the headquarters of
a religious cult to rescue his prodigal foster daughter.
Hereby being unwillingly dragged into a widespread conspiracy.

As a linear, narrative driven game, Acythian builds on lore and
atmosphere to draw haunting science fiction environments and
believable, fleshed out characters that inhabit this world.
The game is set in a distant future where humanity has been
starkly decimated by drawn out wars and nature is regaining
a lot of territory.

The core plot line is relatively simple and the game has a strong
focus on a fully realized world surrounding it. While you’ll be
infiltrating the citadel, the headquarters of an influential
religious cult, you will also get a good impression of the lore
and world surrounding this place.

Acythian is a first person shooter at its core while also
implementing adventure game mechanics. There’ll be looting
but we try to stay true to its FPS roots and do our best to
avoid cluttered inventories and micromanaging resources.
There will still be plenty of items and gameplay elements
to use and combine in realtime.

For example: You can boost your character using various implants
which will however also add to your neurotoxicty level. This can be fatal
if it reaches a high amount and impair your skills if not deadly.

Weapons in this game will be balanced according to their real world
counterparts and should feel as authentic as I can manage them to be.

The game will not feature any unnecessary gimmick, will not be a clone of
or be “heavily inspired”of an existing game.

With this said I invite you to follow the development process of a
futuristic, gothic adventure set in a hauntingly beautiful world
drenched in rust,tares and blood.

What drives you, stranger?
And don’t give me some trite answer I might find on a calendar or on the label of some ayurvedic teabag. A little respect would be in order, you are talking to a moribund man.
Do you ever take a moment during your pointless daily races to wonder why you even bother?
I did!
Countless times.
Whenever I stood, dressed in full combat gear, under the shower trying to wash off the blood, never feeling quite clean.
Whenever everyone I was getting to know died around me just to ward off yet another wave in an endless sequence of enemy waves or to hold a few pointless compounds in an utterly pointless war.
You may find my words to be …trivial. The musings of yet another drunk …or perhaps you can relate. This world is so far gone that there is a good chance that you are not so different from me.
I pulled through and what drove me after the war was simple. To give back. To save a couple of lives for a change,… rather than extinguishing them.
It might surprise you which was far harder to achieve.
I’ve founded the Lazareth in this part of town and as soon as the Neurophage took Acythia we where swamped with patients. We did our best to prevent the unavoidable. At least we managed to prolong the lives of a couple dozen souls. The successes tasted stale in the face of the mass extinction the phage caused.
And for all the bravado and the medals I received for killing in the war, the pharmaceutical companies scolded and ridiculed me for my attempts to treat subculture scum. They didn’t use these exact words but it was the sentiment.
They insisted that people rather supported their charities than our unsanitary lazareth, spreaded lies about my organisation, ordered hits on 2 of my nurses….I can’t link anything substantial back to them, of course, but come on! We are all adults here.
I grew pretty cynical. More so than I was before if you can believe that.But then…they brought in this girl. Must’ve been 16 when they carried her in. Prostitute overdosed on pink dust, no blight spores in her as far as we could tell. I fell in love. Don’t give me that look…not in a sexual way, …you degenerate.
You see, in the eugenics war I led a special forces group. We where highly augmented. They took us and turned us into weapons. I must have been in my mid 20’s then.
There it is, that look again.
You don’t believe a single word I’m saying, do you? The reconstructive nanites in my bloodstream prevented my remaining tissue from aging. I’m 85 years old, son.
I’m more machine than I am human. They didn’t take my humanity, the war took care of that, they took my ability to …reproduce and seeing this fragile body on the gurney reminded me of something. Something ancient, older than all this cybernetic heresy around us. I felt the need to protect her. I wanted to be her …father.

If that doesn’t sound too crazy for you. Tracking down her pimp and human trafficking network was easier than I expected. I had to call in a few favours but…nonetheless…took me only a couple of weeks. You see, I once swore to never kill a human being again but these people…they’ve chosen not to be human. Killed ’em all. Not even felt anything but relief. Kept an eye on law enforcement communication. They noted where they found the bodies but didn’t even bother with an investigation. What kind of cop would cuff me for taking out a pedophile ring? None rotten enough, not even in these troubled time.

We almost lost her, I paid for a new liver myself as well as a pair of cybernetic legs. Necrosis took them, too much dust can do this to you, you know.

You are still here? Admirable! So few people seem to have the …attention span to take all of this in nowadays. At least so it seems. May I buy you a drink?

Anyway, the years it took me to educate and raise her where the best times I’ve had. Of course I’ve also taught her how to protect herself. We almost managed to forget about all the decay around us at times. But she became a young woman and although the scars of her past have healed, at least so it felt, she became increasingly altruistic. And I don’t mean in a healthy way. She felt like my work in the lazareth, was a waste of time. Only a droplet on a hot stone as she’d say and that the cancerous systems that took hold after the war had to go. She eventually joined this resistance movement. You’ve heard of it, even though you’ll probably won’t admit it.

One of their fences got wind that this new holier-than-thou religious cult, the Kyanic Order, has an experimental cure for the Neurophage stashed away. Apparently they wanted to wait for the city to be on the brink of extinction. And when there was nothing left but desperation they’d swoop in like big divine saviours, assuring the legitimation of their cult and thus ultimately gain sovereign power over the city. My little girl was the prodigy of the rebel network and they’ve sent her in to steal the antidote. It went about as well as you could expect.

She got caught and they sentenced her to death. I was present during that hearing. The order voted against the courts ruling, claiming they’d want to spare her soul and wanted to cleanse her on their sacred grounds.The citadel is what they called it, an enormous compound on an island a couple kilometers south of Acythia. Since she stole from the cult and would be out of the city this way the court agreed to them taking her to their property. They claim it to be a retreat for their higher ranking members, their little “Vatican” so to speak but… the myths and legends surrounding that facility are probably more numerous than those surrounding that cult itself. I don’t know what they plan to do to her there but I do know that she’s likely not intended to survive the process. What choice do I have? I know there is nothing but a fools hope, but as long as there is any hope to get her out of there alive, I’ll have to try.
Tomorrow I’ll call in my last favours, dust off my old gear and get myself killed. Ha!
The sea leading to their damned island are littered with cliffs and rock formations. Remnants of the heavy artillery fire that shaped this coast back during the war. If I keep my most of my non-essential augs in standby and take a small boat…or raft… keep the sun in my back and approach through these formations they’d only pick up my signal if they’d actively look for me. Here’s to hoping that they won’t!
Its a chance… however slim. And there you have it….that is what drives me. My daughter. The last remaining flower for me in this vineyard of rust and corrosion.
I’ll get her out of there…, any means necessary … and if I die trying at least I make sure I’ve given their false prophets. with their grandiose messianic delusions something to mourn and preach about. …by the break of dawn!

 

TL;DR

A retired special forces agent infiltrates the headquarters of a religious cult to rescue his prodigal foster daughter. Hereby being unwillingly dragged into a widespread conspiracy.

Confused?

If you where following this project for a while you might be confused by this shift in plot and style, this code snippet explains the numerous concepts and versions this game went through.

0.5 x11xIn the first iteration of this game it was a pretty pure science fiction shooter. You where supposed to be a grunt that crash landed behind enemy lines.
I’ve penned this concept being very disappointed into GG and having very few media ready to use. This was during a time where the engine was in a very early stage. I late abandoned this direction as it was too crude to persue.

1.0 x0x

A story driven third person shooter. Here you where to take control of a young gunslingin and sword wielding ninja lady.
Blending decidedly dated and cheesy aesthetics with an oppressive cyberpunk look this game was supposed to be far more arcade’ish.
However, the whole plotline and concept I outlined for it was way over my head and too much for GG to deliver, especially at the time.

2.0 X01X

Getting back to my roots I’ve took a lot of elements from my former project “PSISHOCK” and intended to play it safe. Making this a scifi horror game entirely set in an underground military compound. Very boring!

3.0 Bulletblues

An entirely different game that was supposed to be simple and out for christmas. Later, after increasing difficulties, morphed into the test game “Redacted: Hired Gun” that got released.

3.5 xT32Tx

Redacted: Hired Gun, the test game to really probe GG’s meddle and see what I can, personally, achieve in the engine after developing in so many different directions. This game can be found in the showcase board and it also let to the final concept of the acythian project.

4.x69x

Final iteration of Acythian. Entirely penned out.

Due to the everchanging nation of earlier iterations of this game you might see content that will be very different or not in the final game at all. This is a work in progress thread after all. Style might also be subject to change but I’m quite happy with late results.

Screenshots

Features

* Greater Attention to detail and style
* An emotionally compelling storyline
* A deep lore
* Complex environments and architecture that is interconnected and makes sense
* Interactive and animated environments
* Destroyable items
* Using all of GG’s FPS mechanics to my best knowledge
* atmospheric soundtrack
* Branching level three for varying gameplay experiences (parts of the game will branch out into 2 different levels and later link back together)

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RedSorceress Skyboxes Archive

Hi!

Back when I first started out with 3D Games, I had most skyboxes for my projects from an awesome website called redsorceres dot com. The owner shared a lot of models and textures and it was an all around cool site.

However, it was part of that hobby era of 3d content from between the late 90s and mid 2000’s..and like the vast majority of these sites, its now gone. However, I found a few cool people who archived the skyboxes at least. I took the liberty of providing a mirror myself too.

Serygalacaffeine mirror

Link to their site.

Now these skyboxes are on the lower end of the resolution spectrum in the way they look and the way they are styled. 512 x 512. This is still a treasure for people who work on lower resolution games, prototypes, crossplattform and mobile games as well as shaders.

Here is an impression of what is in the archive:

Shoutout to all fellow 3D artists. If you know of old resources and tools, archive them on a HDD somewhere, they will not be online forever and I deeply dislike this trend of streamlining every workflow to cater to the same handful of modeling and art packages. I think we will lose a lot of different looks and styles this way.

Anyway, I hope this will be helpful to some and keep creating!

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Skrye: The Heart of Shadows – 2018 – Game Guru

Developer: Wolf

Foreword: Game Guru, huh? Oh what a dysfunctional relationship we have but I just can’t quit you. Been here from the start, even earlier when you where still FPSCreator Reloaded. I had high hopes for you, that you’d stop drinking, lose some weight and maybe we can have a really good game of our own some day… but now I suppose I can only ask for so much. By now a flock other guys are messing around in your insides, maybe they can fix you if your daddy couldn’t.
Alright, this tired analogy aside, I have indeed been following game guru since its inception, had 2 large projects and 2 small ones. The small ones are released and the big ones have transitioned so much and have grown a lot during development however, both are a tad too large for myself and game guru. There is of course, Shavra, which was supposed to be my magnum opus I intended to release some day and then quit making video games. It had many different iterations, starting out as “Relict” all the way back in 2010. However, its just too large for me and the core gameplay in GG would be so flawed (dialogues, combat, inventory) that it’d just not be what I wanted to do. Then there is Acythian, a game that is by its core a pure shooter and Game Guru just doesn’t have the necessary horse power in what I want to do visually, physics and especially AI wise.
There is also the fact that I wanted to return to my roots of making games and deliver story, characters and atmosphere rather than corridor shooters. I’m done making games out of necessity rather than the ones I really want to make and I lost that through the years. A wonderful german game I look up to is “Unterwegs in Düsterburg” which delivers a captivating fantasy story and lovely characters all running on a non-coder engine. Thats the route I wanna go down too.
So, I took a good look at Game Guru’s current state, took an optimistic guess of what will be to come for the engine and write a GG that will both be doable and yet combine better parts of Shavra and Acythian and make a slightly reduced game. There will be shooting in the game rather than GG’s extraordinary melee game but still very much rooted in fantasy.

Storyline A mutated agent, part of a secretive order, investigates an obscure crime related to the cataclysm that spiraled humanity to the brink of existance is drawn into a conspiracy that might end the remaining humans, who thought shelter in well guarded enclaves.

Plotline is still in flux but this is going to have a strong dark fairy tale vibe.

Background: In an alternate world and timeline, a world war had humanity in turmoil. New technological advantages caused a war humanity was unable to imagine prior. Nobody knows where they came from, the demons, the blight that took the world by storm and united mankind as one on the very brink of extinction. Most assume gods hands to punish humanity for its sins, others assume a new weapon by their respective former enemies to be the cause. Few enclaves have prevailed, cities, towns, farms and fortresses guarded and surviving for decades. Outside of these last remnants of humanity, vast zones stretch over the land populated by them.

Genre: Skrye is an action adventure set in an anachronistic mixture of diesel- and steampunk.

Development: I have been working on this game for this year and have not yet made all too large strides. I originally wanted to hold off publishing this until there is more polish and better stuff to show but I figure that this will still take quite some time…so here is some rather early work. I will upgrade the first post with newer stuff in the future and kind off try to make it a bit more eloquent in the future

(early) screenshots

The game will have a lot of modified and handmade models and media. I will also upgrade and remake a lot of classic media from my collection. I’m sure that a lot of you will recognize old media in this despite looking rather different.

[center]

Bolt action carbine rifle. A rig of the classic MAS36 from FPSCreator (2005)

Drunken Lobster Pub. Retexture from the classics collection (example)

Pocketwatch. Handmade.[/center]

The first level of the game is the harbour of the enclave city “Grevem”. It includes a lot of models that will be retextured later on and will be continously improved until the game is done.

Early Screenshot 1

Early Screenshot 2

Early Screenshot 3

Last but not least some artists without whom I couldn’t have made what I have done so far: (in no particular order)

Rolfy
Lafette
Wizard of Id
Errant AI
BSP
Rosstradamus
Cosmic Prophet

There are of course a lot more, but this work is highly shaped by the work of these fine people.

Please let me know what you think and feel free to ask me anything.

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Archive – Okkult: Children of Dagon – 2013

2013

FPSC

” Posted on 12. February 2013 by serygala This is it! This is the big one. My last game.”

This is how I opened the announcment of this project. Well…that didn’t happen, and neither did this game. Back at a time where I was a lot more optimistic and maybe even naive about game development as a hobby I aimed for this project to be my first commercial one. I am glad that this didn’t happen because even if I did my very best, which I fully intended to do at the time,it would not have held up. FPSC games tend to crash and the amount of visual effects and custom scripts I wanted to pour into this would have made it nearly impossible to realize under the memory cap. Plus I was a lot less aware of how to properly set up and optimize my models at the time.

I am still proud of what I have achieved despite being very well aware of how hokey a lot of it must look compared to modern indie standards.

The plot of the game was nothing amazing but I intended to make it compelling in how it was delivered and in how gripping the world around the player was. This was supposed to be a First Person Adventure game with puzzles and plot first and some shooting second. I was never a fan of the “spooky walking simulator” titles.

Sadly, the project didn’t get far.

Some quotes from back in the day…I also used the term “lovecraftian”…oh! The cringe!

he story is nothing too fancy as I have to make this game in FPSCreator and I try to tell the story WITH Fpscreator as well as I can. Allow me not to get too specific on certain plot elements! The storyline so far sounds as basic as it gets but I do have some cool (I dislike this adjective as much as most intelligent people but its fitting) lovecraftian content I dont want to spoil for you.

Evidence B-12: Classified.
textfile copied from soundrecording for archivation:My name is Logan Carpenter, I’m broadcasting this from the multinational climate research base Alessa II. This base is official registered as a restricted area since 2010 and I know why… I mean… I don’t know where to start. Ahm… okay! … I don’t have a lot of time… I used to have this base on my patrol routine years ago and my fiancee Claire O’Shea was…no….IS stationed here. The base has been cut off by a massive blizzard for about half a year. Temperatures kept falling to -95C° every few hours here…ahm… This base is the epicenter of this blizzard! Its origin is not natural. Its not a phenomenon caused by global warming or anything…its them! They somehow cause it. I…I think its their presence disrupting the balance of … I’m rambling sorry…
You see! I used to spend every weekend with Claire but since the base got closed down for public I was lucky to see her every 2 months and she…changed. At first I thought it was me and she was just stressed out but it was something in her eyes…something in the way she spoke and the way she moved…nobody else noticed it. They actually had the guts to tell me I was just paranoid…and she was always a bit creepy anyway… but they haven’t seen what I have seen here. Ahm…okay…ahm… I record this broadcast while transmitting.
So, I asked her what was wrong and she told me that the work stressed her since the new „investors“ took over. The base would grow at an enormously fast rate and she would not be able to get a break. Ahm! She was a microbiologist and apparently they found something while drilling for icecoresamples. I left it at that, little did I know that what they found where not some kind of prehistoric bacteria… they found this thing and it… changed them! There is no way this has been built by humans. Its… [*Sound Recording Distorted*]Ahm! 3 months ago we received a scrambled radiotransmission from this base. It was Claires voice… As the storm cleared up a little I …stole… a helicopter and … I crashlanded close to the base. It was cold… I felt my bodytemperature drop knowing I had mere seconds to find shelter…

Features:

*Vivid snow and ice effects! Particle and shader effects create a truely freezing athmosphere.
*Tough adventure gameplay and survival elements
*Strong athmosphere and visual style featuring shaders not yet seen in FPSC.
*Innovative health system
*Ambience enhancing horror scenes
*Coherent synergy of graphical design and memorycap. Even dynamic objects fit in and don’t stick out as much as In my former titles.
*Selfmade and modified characters and creatures.

End quote!

Allow me to end this with screenshots of work I have done back then.

Thank you for reading!

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Spotlight – Case#9 by Dream

SPOTLIGHT

Case#9 by Peace released in 2017

FPSC

Available on Steam

Case#9 was an odd, yet interesting experience for me. It does everything right, that is if you look at all of its elements separately. If you bring them all together, there are a few fundamental things lacking. However, this is still an extremely good quality FPSC game. Here are my thoughts:

Plot

You are a prisoner, doing forced labor for the “Argon Company”. What it is that you do, you will never get to see. The Argon Company is described as a mining facility but we don’t get to see anything hinting at that. But one night something went wrong and you get a chance to escape from your cell. However, something in the complex has escape with you and it is out for blood.

Gameplay

Case#9 is a first person puzzle game with puzzle elements. In genre fashion you will have to solve a series of puzzles, mostly involving unlocking doors in some way while occasionally something spooky happens. The game is fairly competent at this even if it felt to me like a lot of puzzles did not necessarily make sense. For example: at one point I progressed a level because I activated a laser. Now, the laser effect was well done, the production value of the game is pretty good in general, but there was no real reason what that laser did and why I was able to proceed because I activated it.

Escaping a prison cell is always a tough puzzle to make believable. I have struggled designing that type of puzzle before and find that the author has done a pretty good job with how its handled. This puzzle stood out to me as pretty decent.

It is slightly frustrating that the characters motion speed is reduced. I feel like I’d have enjoyed the game a lot more if I was able to move a little bit faster.

With any kind of combat removed, the creature that is stalking you not posing a real threat, the gameplay really just consists on walking around, reading info dumps and using the right objects until you can unlock the next door. All in all, the game felt more like a beta version of something with gameplay elements missing rather than a fully fledged game.

I’m a sucker for subdued horror that creeps up on you, but this games horror elements are so subdued and inconsequential that you get pretty much right away that all they are are scripted tiny sequences. The creature you get to see in the end is kind of a let down as well.

The Visuals

There is no way around this but this game is blue. With the exception of some red and yellow highlights you will spend the entire time playing in blue-ish corridors and areas reminiscent of the french scifi flick “eden log”. The production quality is very high for this type of game. Levels have a certain level of visual polish. There are no objects that are stuck out of place as in many FPSC games due to a wrong shader being used and the HUD elements are well crafted. PDA and in-game interfaces are particularly well made.

However, the game has a fundamental design flaw and that is visual story telling:

The game tells you that the Argan Company is a mining facility…but we never get to see any hint or trace that this is the case. In fact, most areas we walk through are more akin to laboratories. It is supposed to be a prison, but apart from the cells in the starting area, there is never much of a feel that prisoners are handled in these spaces. No visual security installments and nothing that would even hint at a correctional facility. There are three types of areas we get to see: Maintenance areas, labs and office facilities.

It feels like the surroundings have been lovingly crafted to fit one setting but the story ultimately went with another one.

Apart from a few corpses here and there, the whole area is also extremely clean. There is no realy hint of a monster being around or any kind of struggle/evacuation having happened. If this has been done deliberately to make the surroundings have an eeriee ghostly atmosphere, it all feels more empty.

CONCLUSION

I might have criticised the game a lot but I still feel that a lot of work and effort went into this game and some really neat attention to detail. A lot has been done with FPSC’s capabilities and the game ran quite well for me. I will certainly keep an eye on the developer and recommend this game to all other FPSC users or people who have used it in the past. I can not recommend this to a more general audience as the 30 minutes of rather dull gameplay to not warrant a price of 2,99 €.

What I’d like to see improved (personally) in the next game

  1. Have the levels be coherent with the plot. If its a mining facility, let us see traces of this. If there is a monster running amok, let us see some tables that have been flipped over and hints of this.
  2. If you are not a native english speaker (like me) have someone who is read over the texts of your game.
  3. If you remove combat you will make up for the lack of one game mechanic with another. More engaging puzzles and especially an interesting plot line help a lot.
  4. If the concept of a monster stalking around the same facility as the defenseless player, that monster needs to pose some kind of threat or at least provide the illusion of a threat.
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